The aim of the study was to determine the mycobacterial species causing cervical lymphadenitis at Cukurova University Hospital, Adana, Turkey. To this end, culture and differential tests were performed on excisional or incisional biopsy specimens from patients with mycobacterial cervical disease (MCD). The diagnosis was confirmed by skin tests, histopathological examination and positive cultures. In 15 of 40 cases diagnosed as MCD, mycobacteria were isolated in Lowenstein-Jensen medium. The etiological agents were tuberculous mycobacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis in 9 cases and M. bovis in 3 cases). Of the 3 non-tuberculous cases, 2 were due to M. kansasii and the other to M.fortuitum. Antituberculous chemotherapy was given in all cases over an average period of 18 months. A combination of three of four drugs was used including isoniazid, ethambutol, rifampin and/or streptomycin. At the end a follow-up period of at least 3 years, there were no recurrences or persistences of infection and no surgical treatment was necessary to remove residual lymph nodes.